The beauty of Bob Dylan- Mr. Tamborine Man

25 Jun 1966, Paris, France --- American singer and songwriter Bob Dylan on stage in Paris. --- Image by © Jacques Haillot/Apis/Sygma/Corbis

25 Jun 1966, Paris, France — American singer and songwriter Bob Dylan on stage in Paris. — Image by © Jacques Haillot/Apis/Sygma/Corbis

Today I would like to bring some lyrics to your attention.

Mr Tamborine Man by Bob Dylan.

I have heard that this song is about a man searching out his drug dealer. The dealer is Mr. Tamborine Man. ‘Playing a song for me’ is selling a drug. “He has no place to go” referring to his freedom to get high.

This is not what I think. I think it is much more than that and at the same time nothing or what ever you want it to be. The power of a great poem is that is up to you to make sense of it.

What I think it means is not a drug users search for a high, but a man seeking more than his normal life, a man seeking spiritual awakening, to travel and see the face God. I think it represents a man, tired of his normal life, seeking to transcend the universe.

A man seeking freedom from the norm, to realize that life, everything we do is abnormal. Why seek money? Why be constrained by fences? Why not let go and see the magic in nature, follow dreams and seek happiness, not goods.

It is also to me, a man seeking the truth, seeking information and trying to search out inspiration to write the next poem.

This indeed should be the anthem for all poets, who, haunted by the beauty of truth lose sleep, look out into the morning when the stars all still in flight, and see that there are a million ideas ready to be plucked and to comfort the cold and lonely.

“To dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free, silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands, with all memory and fate, driven deep beneath the waves, let me forget about today until tomorrow”. -Bob Dylan

As the old epitaph says:

What I spent, I had

what I gave, I have,

What I saved, I lost.

Mr. Tamborine man sums up Dylan’s life.

“Mr. Tambourine Man”

Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you.
Though I know that evenin’s empire has returned into sand
Vanished from my hand
Left me blindly here to stand but still not sleeping
My weariness amazes me, I’m branded on my feet
I have no one to meet
And the ancient empty street’s too dead for dreaming.

Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you.

Take me on a trip upon your magic swirlin’ ship
My senses have been stripped, my hands can’t feel to grip
My toes too numb to step, wait only for my boot heels
To be wanderin’
I’m ready to go anywhere, I’m ready for to fade
Into my own parade, cast your dancing spell my way
I promise to go under it.

Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you.

Though you might hear laughin’, spinnin’ swingin’ madly across the sun
It’s not aimed at anyone, it’s just escapin’ on the run
And but for the sky there are no fences facin’
And if you hear vague traces of skippin’ reels of rhyme
To your tambourine in time, it’s just a ragged clown behind
I wouldn’t pay it any mind, it’s just a shadow you’re
Seein’ that he’s chasing.

Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you.

Then take me disappearin’ through the smoke rings of my mind
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.

Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you.

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